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Study in Canada FAQ


I. Study Permits

Anyone planning to study for more than six months in Canada needs a Study Permit. If you plan to study for less than six months but may decide to stay longer, you should apply for a Study Permit before coming to Canada for your studies. International students from certain countries may also need to obtain a temporary resident visa in addition to the study permit.

A temporary resident visa is an official document issued by a Canadian visa office. It is placed in your passport to show that you have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident

Depending on your citizenship, you may need a temporary resident visa to enter Canada. Click here to view a list of the countries whose citizens do not need a temporary resident visa to enter Canada.

International Students must apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for a Study Permit once they have received an acceptance letter from a qualified Canadian academic institution. if you have received this acceptance letter, you may use our Study Permit Application kit to prepare your application. Students will have to show that they have sufficient funds to study and live in Canada, and in some cases undergo Medical Examinations and provide Police Clearance Certificates.

If you need a temporary resident visa in addition to your study permit, you do not need to submit a separate application or pay an additional fee when you apply for your study permit at a visa office. The visa office will issue your temporary resident visa at the same time as your study permit if your application is accepted.

You should apply as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance from the educational institution (school, college, university). The time needed to process an application to study in Canada may be different depending on the visa office.

International Students who have been accepted into a qualifying educational institution in Quebec must obtain approval from the immigration authorities of the Province of Quebec. To study in Quebec, you will need to first apply for a CAQ (Certificat d'acceptation du Québec) before you apply for a study permit.

You must pay a processing fee with your application. The fee will not be refunded, even if your application is refused. Check the website of the visa office where you submit your application to find out the options available to you to pay the fee.

A Study Permit is valid for the duration of your study program. Should you need to extend the validity of your Study Permit, you must file an Application to Change the Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

You can apply for your Study Permit in your country of residence, your country of nationality or the country where you have been legally admitted.

Expiry dates of study permits can vary. Often permits are valid for the duration of the program of study. To successfully renew a study permit, the student must have a valid passport and, if applicable, a valid CAQ (a Certificate of Acceptance required to study in Quebec). Students should start the renewal process at least two to three months prior to the expiry date.

II. Working while studying in Canada

Yes, with certain conditions. International Students holding a valid Study Permit may work on the campus of their educational institution without a Work Permit. However, in order to work off the campus, you must apply to CIC for an Off-Campus Work Permit.

An Off-Campus Work Permit allows International Students to be employed off the campus of the educational institution they are attending in Canada.

International Students with valid Study Permits who are registered in a participating educational institution are eligible for Off-Campus Work Permits, if they are in satisfactory academic standing at that institution. In addition, students must have been studying full-time for six months out of the year preceding their application for an Off-Campus Work Permit.

Satisfactory Academic Standing is determined differently by each academic institution. Students must make sure that they meet the requirements for satisfactory academic standing at the institution they are currently studying at in order to be eligible for an off-campus work permit.

International Students who are receiving awards or scholarships from Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade or from the Canadian International Development Agency are not eligible for an Off-Campus Work Permit. Students participating in the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program, in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program Exchange or in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship Program, Canada-Chile may not apply for an Off-Campus Work Permit. Visiting students are also ineligible, as well as students who are registered in English or French as a Foreign Language programs, even if they are enrolled in participating institutions.

Your spouse or common-law partner may apply for a Work Permit if you are a full-time student at an authorised institution with a valid study permit.

The Post-Graduation Work Program allows most international students to gain Canadian work experience upon graduation of a program which is at least eight months in duration. Please note that you will need a Work Permit to work in Canada after finishing your program of study. This Post-Graduation Work Program is a very good option for people who have studied in Canada because it may lead to being eligible for Canadian Permanent Residency under the Canadian Experience Class or Quebec Experience Class categories of immigration.

III. Other frequently asked questions about studying in Canada


Many educational institutions in Canada have scholarships for international students. You will need to contact the institution directly to find out more about the scholarships or bursaries they have available for international students.

Each Canadian university sets its own policy regarding admission requirements. It would be advisable to identify which universities in Canada offer the program which interests you, and then contact those universities directly regarding their admission requirements.

A certificate, diploma or degree from an accredited Canadian institution will be recognized by employers and institutions around the world. To find out if the institution where you plan to study is accredited, you should contact the university directly.

Unfortunately, there are no grants or awards available for language study programs (English or French). Awards are available to international students only for masters or doctoral programs (except for some programs, namely medicine and tourism). Some language schools do provide promotional arrangements.

Education in Canada is under the jurisdiction of the provinces, so you will need to contact the province where you plan to live. You may also want to find the contact information for the school board where you will live and contact them directly to find answers to your questions about which grade the child will enter. 

Your child, as a Canadian citizen, would not be required to apply as an international student, and would not need a study permit.

Unfortunately, there are no grants or awards available to international students for study at these levels. There are only opportunities for awards at the graduate level (masters and doctoral levels) .

Yes, the Government of Canada Awards are announced every year around September; these are administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The competition is open until the first week of December and an average of fifteen awards are offered each year.

There are other institutions and government departments that may offer awards or supplementary assistance based on the study discipline. 

Below is a list of some organizations that offer awards (please note this list is non-comprehensive):

  • Quebec Government Awards: Awards for research, post-doctoral studies, and masters and doctoral programs (All areas except MBA, tourism and languages)
Doctoral research scholarships
Postdoctoral fellowship scholarships
Short-term research or professional development scholarships
  • Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories: Awarded to scientists and engineers for research visits.
  • Trudeau Foundation: Awards are offered for doctoral studies in the area of human rights and social justice, responsible citizenship, Canada and the world, and the relationship between man and his natural environment.
  • Organization of American States: Awards for masters and doctoral studies and research in member countries of the OAS in the areas of education, environment and sustainable development, government and democracy, science and technology, reduction of poverty and social development, economic development, and trade.

Canada has four different seasons and we highly recommend you bring clothing for all seasons. During the winter months (November to March) you will need a warm clothes, a winter jacket, warm hat, scarf, some gloves and winter boots. All buildings and houses are heated during the winter to about 20ºC indoor temperature.

In Canada, most schools are in session between September and June:

Season: Fall
When: September to November
Temperature variation: Between 20ºC and 5ºC
Average: 10ºC

Season: Winter
When: November to March
Temperature variation: Between 5ºC and -25ºC
Average: -10ºC

Season: Spring
When: April to June
Temperature variation: Between 5ºC and 20ºC
Average: 10ºC 

Season: Summer
When: June to August
Temperature variation: Between 20ºC and 30ºC
Average: 25ºC

 

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